Family as a Source in Contributing to Your Job Search

by on January 29, 2014

Family counseling people problem solution puzzleDuring the recent holiday season, I was together with my Mom, siblings, their respective spouses and children.  As is common in many families today, one of my sister’s is facing uncertainty at her current place of employment.  As she was filling us in on the happenings of where she worked, it became an opportunity for her to share her history with her employer.  While I knew of my sister’s talents as an Administrative Assistant, it also became apparent she truly understood the inner workings of the business that she has been a part.  Since my sister worked in a small plant environment when she first started with this firm, she took the opportunity to learn various work processes.  As such, she was always capable of filling in and helping out, when someone was out on vacation.  As time went on and the small office computerized, she learned the application programs for that computer.  Today, she is involved in supporting a legal area that does intellectual property and trademarks for her company.

While I knew some of these details, many of them were new to me.  And, even though I knew where my sister worked, had a basic idea of the type of work she did, there was so much I did not know.  There are several lessons from this experience that I would love to pass on to my readers.

First, notice how my sister increased her value to her company by learning more and more about the overall operation of the business.  She never allowed herself to be “targeted” into just one area or function.  Secondly, she never was concerned about learning new technologies and ways of doing things.  If it meant going for extra courses, or learning something on her own she did so.  Finally, the biggest lesson was that you can never assume you know exactly what the people that are closest to you in life do on their job.  This last lesson is as critical as any when in job search or when looking to transfer from your current job position to another.

More and more individuals are learning the importance of networking with others.  Whether that be through organized job search groups, professional societies, at conferences or even on the line at the supermarket, it can be easiest to forget sharing your search and skill sets with those who are part of your family.  Have you ever felt that your family would never understand exactly what you do on the job?  Do you get frustrated when you do try to explain to them, and they don’t seem to get it?  Take that as a signal that you have a better job to do in explaining to them what it is you do or that which you seek to do.  As with any other person you may meet in a networking meeting, you never know not only what they may do but whom they may know.  It is no different with your family members.

Your family members know the parents of the children with whom their children go to school, they know their neighbors, and they know their fellow co-workers in both their department at work and in other departments.  They have activities in which they participate where they have additional contacts.  Yes, they may be your brother, sister, in-law, parent, niece or nephew.  But, they are also a valuable resource when you are looking to make that next career move.  Yes, you may not want them to tell you what you should do next.  However, they may be able to point you toward that person you should be talking to next to move your search forward.  As I learned, you never know how much you don’t know, until you hear it from those closest to you for the first time.

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